Here's a (not so) little rant I wrote last week when badly stuck in PhD mire. It's a response to this: a piece by Zadie Smith published in last Saturday's Guardian, where she provides tips for writers and readers. I actually found it really (and a bit surprisingly) illuminating when considered in the art (more properly fine-art) context. I haven't thought this through to the media art context, but then again I'm not sure it's always so different, though fortunately I think it often is quite...
Jon Bird and Andy Webster, an artificial life researcher and an artist, have been collaborating for the last five years on all sorts of very interesting projects. This past weekend, at the very interesting 'Artists, Curators, and the Screen' conference in Portsmouth, organised by Garrett Monaghan, I heard Bird speak about what they call 'Open-ended Strategies for Curation.' Over the last year or so, I have been musing on what may become my own 'open-ended’ curatorial approach, and so I was very interested to hear what he had to say.
I was a bit disappointed when Bird opened his presentation with a quotation from Hans Ulrich-Obrist, who to my mind epitomises all that could possibly be problematic about 'open-endedness' in curating: one of the prominent members of Nicolas Bourriaud's 'Relational Aesthetics' clique, Obrist and the like advocate openness and the creation of community within exhibitions yet, tempting though this may sound, in practice many ‘relational’ artists and curators fail, as Claire Bishop rightly points out, I think, to ask ‘what types of relations are being produced, for whom, and why?’ (October 110, Fall 2004, 65) The quotation came from Obrist's article, Evolutionary Exhibitions, and like much or the rhetoric surrounding Relational Aesthetics, it was quite seductive:
Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205. Registered business address: Ballard Newman, Apex House, Grand Arcade, Tally Ho Corner, London N12 0EH.